Over the moon – Denise Li
I’m somewhat of a stubborn purist when it comes to food. I don’t like mixing flavours (no candied bacon for me, thanks) and I loathe “fusion” cuisine. I’m also somewhat iffy about “modern updates” of traditional food, such as mooncakes. My food philosophy has always been: why mess with something that ain’t broke?
So it was with a little trepidation that I trooped down to Majestic Restaurant upon their invitation to try their snowskin mooncakes, specially created by Chef Yong Bing Ngen. I put on my journalistic hat and reminded myself to be completely objective.
Chef Yong has created three new varieties of mooncakes this year. The first one I tried is the Mini Snow Skin With Kopi Luwak ($50 for a box of eight). Luwak coffee, also known as civet coffee, is one of the world’s most expensive varieties. The richness and full-bodiedness of the coffee was evident during the first bite. It still retained its distinct flavour despite being made into a paste for the mooncake.
Next up was the Mini Fresh Milk Snow Skin With ‘Yuan Yang’ Paste ($48 for a box of eight). The mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea perfectly complemented the snow skin that’s made with fresh milk. The filling did indeed taste like a solidified version of the popular drink!
There’s also another new creation, Mini Dragon Almond Snow Skin With Black Sesame Paste ($48 for a box of eight) which I didn’t manage to try.
I couldn’t take my leave without sampling one of Chef Yong’s signature creations, Mini Snow Skin With King of Durian ($56 for a box of eight). I was told the “mao shan wang” durian – supposedly the highest-grade of durian available – used in the making of these mooncakes were handpicked by Chef Yong himself. It’s pure indulgence for the durian lover, akin to biting into a concentrated durian paste. That it wasn’t overly sweet made its flavour stand out even more.
Besides the Mini Snow Skin With King Of Durian, Majestic’s other signature creation is the Mini Sn0w Skin With Kwai Feh Lychee Liquer ($48 for a box of eight). I didn’t try this, but I can imagine it’d be a great choice for the girl whose poison of choice is a lychee martini.
With good quality ingredients and a well-thought out preparation process, I’m now quite convinced that modern updates on the traditional can be done quite, ahem, tastefully. But don’t just take my word for it, troop down to Majestic Restaurant to try it out yourself.
For those who aren’t so convinced, fret not. There are also the more “regular” options, such as Traditional Baked Red Bean Paste With Melon Seeds ($46 for a box of four), as well as low-sugar options like Baked White Lotus Paste With Four Yolks ($60 for a box of four) and more.
Mooncakes are on sale until September 12, 2011.
Majestic Restaurant is at New Majestic Hotel, 31 Bukit Pasoh Road. Tel: 6511 4718